Vietnam Airlines is considering starting a new dedicated cargo unit to tap into the growing market for domestically manufactured electronics and consumer goods, Bloomberg reported.
The country has become a major manufacturing hub, with companies such as Samsung Electronics Co annually producing billions of dollars in devices, providing an air freight opportunity for the
national carrier, Vietnam Airlines chief executive officer Duong Tri Thanh told Bloomberg Television.
Investments by companies such as Samsung, LG Electronics Inc and Nestle SA have made the country a manufacturing powerhouse, fueling economic growth that's been among the fastest in the region.
No Vietnamese freight carriers
Gross domestic product rose 7.4% in the first quarter and the government forecasts growth of as much as 7.5% this year. The government is also looking to attract more visitors and develop tourism as a key industry.
Competing with the nation's largest private carrier, VietJet Aviation, the state-owned airline is also focusing on attracting premium passengers at the front-end as faster economic growth drives incomes higher.
Vietnam Airlines currently offers only belly-hold capacity on its fleet of 88 passenger aircraft, including eleven Boeing 787s, 12 Airbus A350s and five A330s. There are no cargo carriers active in Vietnam and no active airline operates any freighters
Scheduled cargo services to Vietnam are currently operated by Cargolux, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Air Hong Kong, and Uni-Top Airlines.
The report did not say if Vietnam Airlines was considering buying or leasing dedicated freighters for its new cargo unit.
Nol van Fenema